“What delight in that it was disastrously stressful at times,” writes Amanda on , pointing to the high-octane storytelling that refuses to come up for air. It’s a battle of wits between Emily and Luke, who have the kind of relentless jobs in finance where every day could be your downfall. Then there’s their personal life. “You rarely see this level of tonal precision in a debut,” describes Zoë, calling Domont’s “thrilling” takedown of male egos “one of the smartest and sharpest scripts of Sundance.”
It comes from a personal place for Domont, much like so many female-driven debut features have to be, in an industry that seeks to mine personal shame for entertainment. But what a ride we are taken on—starting with a bit of menstruation and ending somewhere much bloodier altogether. Fair Play will soon come to the small screen on Netflix after a brief theatrical run, which “makes me a little sad,” says Nora, because “there’s nothing more fun than watching an erotic thriller with a crowd.” Chloe Domont has big plans, for that genre and otherwise, as she cautiously welcomes us in and reveals all.
I want to talk about the specific choice of where and how Fair Play is set, because it is obviously a very toxic workplace. What it is about money specifically, when you’re handling it, even before you get paid, that felt like this was where they needed to be?
Chloe Domont: With these gender power dynamics, a lot of men are raised to believe that success is a zero-sum game. In terms of setting it in finance, it was the metaphor of that, but also just the high stakes environment. You could be on top one day and at the bottom on the next day, fluctuating between feeling like you’re victorious but also like you could lose it all. That would just feed into the toxicity of what was already going on.
What kind of preconceptions did you have about the finance world? Did anything shift as you explored it deeper?
I always knew it was a male-dominated space and it was just as cutthroat as I thought. But meeting a lot of these actual guys who are in this field? They were actually much sweeter than I expected. But I can imagine them in that space. I’m meeting them for drinks after work, but it is an animal kingdom. You eat what you kill. Anyone could be cut at any given moment.